Gythion Top 10
Collected by Amanda Castleman, AFAR Local Expert
Sparta, Hellas, Areopoli 230 62, Greece
The Greeks named the capital of the Mani Peninsula after Ares, their ancient god of war, because of the city's role in the struggle for independence. In 1821, Governor Petrobey Mavromichalis stood against the Turkish overlords here, 350 years...
Itilo 230 62, Greece
There's a spectacular trio of caves on the Mani Peninsula’s west coast, just 37 kilometers (23 miles) from Gíthion. The caves were inhabited by people from Paleolithic times, but that ended when an earthquake struck the region in 4 B.C.E. Today,...
This museum is housed in a 19th-century fortified tower and an adjoining house on the island of Kranae, just off Gíthion. Its exhibits delve into the history of Mani, this wild, rugged area on the southern part of Greece's Peloponnese peninsula....
From Gíthion, it's just a short walk by causeway to the islet of Kranae, with its landmark lighthouse. This white-marble, octagonal beacon stands 25 meters (82 feet) high and dates back to 1873. The light, which flashes every 18 seconds, can be...
Unnamed Road, Anatoliki Mani 232 00, Greece
Gíthion’s most popular beach lies two kilometers (1.2 miles) south of the city, just below the village of Mavrovouni. It gets lively in summer but never overcrowded, since the sand stretches for a glorious five kilometers (three miles). Mavrovouni...
Mystras 231 00, Greece
In a country full of beautiful historic sites, this may have been my favorite to explore. It has so much: a beautiful hilltop setting that offers views for miles; ruins that you can clamber over; restored Byzantine churches with incredible fresco...
Dimarchou Kalkandi V. 4, Githio 232 00, Greece
Artist Giorgos Hassanako runs this folk-art studio, which is both a shop and a museum. The ornate shadow puppets he creates are designed in profile, following the Greek tradition. Some ride on simple sticks, while others have jointed heads and...
Shrouded in mystery, this rusted freighter appeared on Valtaki Beach—five kilometers (three miles) north of Gíthion—in 1981. The more colorful story goes that the vessel was being used to smuggle cigarettes, and was torched to hide the evidence....